- In the FTSE 250, AVEVA (AVV) rallied 24.4% to £23.88 following its decision to merge with Schneider Electric's industrial software business to create a global leader in industrial software.

AVEVA said the mega merger would result in combined revenues and adjusted earnings before interest, tax and amortisation of approximately £657.5m and £145.8m, respectively.

Halfords (HFD) defied the gloomy performance of the retail industry after posting a 2.7% jump in like-for-like revenues in the 20 weeks to 18 August, sparking a 4.3% rise to 329.3p.

This strong performance perked up shares in other retailers, including Next (NXT), Marks and Spencer (MKS) and Costa Coffee owner Whitbread (WTB), which advanced by up to 1.6%.

This helped the FTSE 100 trade 0.3% higher at 7,432 in early trading despite a lack of other corporate news.

Brent crude oil slipped 0.4% to $52 per barrel. Gold gained 0.4% to $1,330 per ounce and copper climbed 1.5% to $6,922 per tonne.


Packaging firm DS Smith (SMDS) was up 0.5% at 498p following an 'encouraging start' to the year since 1 May 2017. The company reported strong demand for its enhanced packaging solutions with the rate of like-for-like volume growth well ahead of the same period last year.

Ryanair (RYA) kept the good news in the airline sector coming after Wizz Air's strong passenger growth on Monday. The budget airline said traffic grew by 10% to 12.7 million customers in August, while load factor advanced 1% to 97%. Investors marked the stock 1% higher to €18.21.

The market overlooked good progress in Stobart Group's (STOB) aviation division thanks to issues in the energy division. The company said delays in commissioning certain third party biomass power stations impacted short term volumes, causing the stock to dip 0.4% to 293p.


Miner Berkeley Mineral Resources (BMR) catapulted 10.4% to 4.1p after acquiring Star Zinc through a joint venture agreement with Galileo Resources (GLR).

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